516 The Stop Light
It has become impossible to do anything without interruption. There's always something comes along when you're in the middle of something, demands your attention and distracts you from the task at hand. This must be stopped.
Think about it. You're sitting at the computer deeply engrossed in your work (of course it would be totally unlike you to be doing personal stuff during office hours and on the company's machine, right?) First thing you know, there's a "live update" or somesuch that wants you to drop what you're doing and restart the computer.
(Is there such a thing as a "dead update" or maybe a pre-recorded update? Probably not.)
You're getting dinner ready. A kid comes in with a scraped knee.
You're sitting down to dinner and the phone rings and it's a telemarketer who hasn't read the latest "Do Not Call" list that you thought you were on.
You get to the best part of the TV movie and at just that moment, three fire trucks, a police car and an ambulance, sirens screaming, and the One Train pass your window simultaneously. Or the power goes out.
Three ancient drivers are driving 30 in a 65 zone, blocking all the lanes. Don't bother honking. They can't hear you, anyway.
Everything is interrupted. One nut case of a boss thought he had a system figured out. He put a traffic light over his office door. Green meant he wasn't doing anything -- or wasn't pretending to do anything, and you could walk in. Orange meant he was occupied but not with anything important, so knock and come in, but "it better be for a good reason." And red meant stay out.
Did it work? No way to tell. Probably he had fewer interruptions in his day than you do in yours.
We were all kind of hoping he'd put in an electrified fence and on leaving for the day, forget to turn it off. No such luck.
That was decades ago, and the idea seems not to have caught on. But the office traffic light points out that this is not a new problem, just one that's escalating. Or maybe it's not an escalation, just a "surge."
--RIP, Fortunoff's, a stunning example of the rags to riches American dream. Experts say they took their eye off the ball, but maybe there was no ball anymore. But 87 years was a good long life.
--The conservatives' convention in Washington is off to a rousing start. Is there anything sadder than a bunch of discredited failures gathering to pat themselves on the back and plot a comeback? It's like a "worst of" album done by Confederate and Soviet nostalgia freaks.
--Does any guy object when a woman either wanders or bursts into a men's' room? Of course not. Just don't try the reverse.
Sportnote: Tim Clark knocked Tiger Woods' out of the tournament, but a year or two from now, Tiger's still going to be Tiger and you'll be saying "Tim Who?"
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®